Reveller cleared of Santa attack
A REVELLER has been cleared of attacking a man dressed as Santa Claus with a beer keg during a Christmas party.
Toivo Tominga (30) left Jaanus Ansip needing 11 stitches to a cut above his left eye following an argument in the early hours of Christmas Day.
He claimed he threw the beer keg in self-defence after Mr Ansip pushed him and made suggestive remarks about his girlfriend, saying that he wished she was at the party so that she could join them in the open-air sauna.
Tominga's lawyer, Leo Mulrooney, argued that Mr Ansip was unduly preoccupied with matters of a sexual nature, had a sex swing in his bedroom, and that he wanted to do things to Tominga's girlfriend.
The defendant further claimed that he was told by Mr Ansip that he would not press charges if he was paid €16,000 in damages.
In cross-examination, Mr Ansip said he was told by a taxi driver about an unwritten Irish law that a person gets €5,000 cash and a further €1,000 for every stitch they receive following a serious assault.
He denied that he insulted Mr Tominga's girlfriend, saying he pushed Mr Tominga after he was called a rooster, which is a highly insulting term in Estonia.
Dismissing the charge, Judge Brian Sheridan said all parties had been drinking and the conflict, which was initially verbal, became a physical confrontation.
The judge said Mr Ansip pushed Tominga, who then retaliated, and in those circumstances he had to dismiss the charge.
Tominga, of Melville Cove, Finglas, had denied assaulting Mr Ansip at his home at Cardiffscastle Road, Finglas, on December 25, 2009.
Mr Ansip said he was playing Santa Claus for his housemates when a drunken Tominga, who was not invited to the party, took offence at a gift he was given.
He said he and Tominga were outside having a smoke when he asked him why he wasn't happy with his gift.
He alleged the defendant called him a rooster -- the term in Estonia means a police informant.
Mr Ansip admitted he pushed Tominga, who then picked up an empty beer keg and threw it at him, hitting him above the eye and leaving him bleeding heavily. In cross-examination, he denied he had exaggerated his injuries because he wanted money from Tominga.
In his evidence, Tominga said he was joking with Santa Claus that he didn't get a present, and was not complaining.
He was outside when Mr Ansip came over and asked him about the whereabouts of his girlfriend.
Tominga claimed that Mr Ansip then said he'd like if his girlfriend was at the party so they could go in the sauna together.
He wasn't very happy with these remarks so he called him a rooster.
Tominga claimed Mr Ansip then went "mental" and pushed him hard.
He said that he picked up the beer keg to defend himself because Mr Ansip was coming at him.
The defendant alleged Mr Ansip then picked up a piece of wood and chased him around the garden, whereupon he picked up a small bench to protect himself.
Judge Sheridan dismissed the charge.